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PROGRAM — Tax Credit Scholarship

My name is Katherine Cabrera and this is the story of how StepUp for Students changed my life. I am 17 years old and a senior in high school. StepUp Scholarships have completely changed me and my perspective towards education. This scholarship motivated me to do better because I know I am fortunate to be a recipient. Many states in the Midwest do not have scholarship programs so students must conform to district schools. I have been fortunate enough to attend a public and private school and the difference is extensive. Here is my story…

I attended a public school until third grade. Due to financial instability, I had to move into my grandma’s home and finished fourth grade at another school. My mother was then arrested for entering the country illegally while I was in fifth grade. As a result of her arrest, I was transferred to another school. My mother’s arrest was my downfall in academics. I lost all sense of direction and stability. As I was entering puberty and middle school, I was devastated of the results when I got there. I was constantly bullied to the point where my mom decided it was enough. She transferred me to La Progresiva Presbyterian School after being accepted to the StepUp Scholarship Program.

“Staff administrators saw the potential in me and gave me a chance to redeem myself.”

When my mother revealed to me that I would have to start new for the fourth time, I was angry. This gave me an instant hate towards the school. I became rebellious and was always sent to administration. Staff administrators saw the potential in me and gave me a chance to redeem myself. After having terrible grades in 7th and 8th grade, I decided I was going to be somebody in life. I gained wisdom and perspective on gratuity. I realized that even if things are difficult at home, someone is always going through something worse. So I become grateful and studied hard. I maintained a 4.0 throughout my high school career and plan to uphold it until I graduate from college.

After being eligible for the StepUp Scholarships it boosted my confidence. I was confident in my abilities and discipline. After graduating from high school, I plan to enroll into Florida’s International University. I aspire to get a masters in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. I then would like to enter the City of Miami Police force, to become an accredited detective. As a side job I would like to create animal shelters and work with the K-9 unit.

Thousands of students rely on this scholarship, like myself. Education should be free to low income families especially families who flee from dictatorship. Many classmates of mine came to the United States at an older age so when they attended public school no one paid mind to them. They were then accepted by the scholarship program and now speak grammatically correct. I could go on and on about different “circumstances” but they aren’t circumstances but real situations. Many kids are stuck in a school with no education because these opportunities are limited. This scholarship changed by life and could change so many others.


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